A Changed Lifestyle
I don’t get it. I usually wake up at 5:00 in the morning from Monday-Friday. I go to the park to do my business and come home. My mom, Carol, leaves the house at 7:00 a.m. and doesn’t come back until 3:00. Carol always gives me a snack before she goes to work. I cry, and yell for about a minute because I want to show her how much I miss her. As soon as I hear her leave the driveway, I quiet down and sleep all day. Today was different. I woke up at 5:00, but Carol was still sleeping. She told me to lie down for another hour because there was no way she was going to get up so early. I waited, we went to the park, and I did my business as usual. I think this situation has something to do with “retirement”.
My name is Chloe. I am a seven year old, golden brown American Cocker Spaniel without a skirt. It is an embarrassment not to have a skirt like other Cocker Spaniels but my mom was always too busy to take care of my hair because it is so curly. She takes me to the groomer and I come back shaved. I have curly hair on my long ears . I have light, brown eyes and I can get anything I want by staring at you. Everyone says that I am cute.
No More Naps
I think that my nap times are over. Today I went for three walks and one was a hike for about three miles. I am really tired. Is this the new normal?
My Favorite Blanket
My Introduction Into the Family
I lived in a pet store in Fashion Island, Irvine, California when I was four months old. One day a very nice lady, Sothy, came into the store with her three young boys and fell in love with me. I liked them too. They bought me and took me to Fountain Hills, Arizona where they lived. They already had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was bigger than me at the time because I was just a puppy. Sothy had to go on a business trip,so she brought me to Carol and Sumio’s house. Sumio, who I knew as “Otosan” , had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Carol wanted to train me by putting me in the kennel. I hated the kennel and I cried for about an hour. Otosan saved me. I slept with him every night. I was a very happy puppy. Otosan took me out every two hours to potty train me. I was a good puppy because I never had an accident in the house.
First Car Trip
Four months later, Otosan had to go back to Michigan to work. We drove from Fountain Hills, Arizona to Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was a long drive. We stopped and stayed in hotels which were in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Illinois. I cried in the car because I didn’t know where I was going. Carol had a spray bottle and she would spray me whenever I made too much noise. I hated the water being sprayed into my eyes , so I would stop crying for awhile. We would stop every two hours so that I could do my business. I loved staying in the hotels because I could sleep with both Carol and Sumio. The pillows and blankets were so soft.
Sleeping in the Hotel
Arrival at my Michigan Home
We arrived in Michigan and I was introduced to my second home. I would live here with Sumio because Carol had to fly back to Arizona to teach at ASU. Sumio and I went on walks everyday even when it was really cold and snowy. I had a big backyard to run around in and it was fun. Sumio would leave every two months to get his treatment in Arizona and I would go to the kennel in Kalamazoo. I would stay there for two weeks and then he would come pick me up. I was so happy to see him. We did so much together when he came home from work.
I began to get lonely without Carol and so did Otosan. She finally convinced him to take disability and come live in Arizona with her. After going back and forth for two years, we moved to Arizona. I was going to take my last long car ride to Arizona. I was going to miss my big backyard and the freedom that I had to explore and not be on a leash. This was going to change because in Arizona we were going to live in a one bedroom apartment on the second floor. That is where my life began when I was a puppy. There was no backyard and I had to wait patiently by the door until someone noticed that I needed to be taken out to do my business. I was so proud of myself because I never had any accidents.
Hiking with Sumio
Best Friends Forever
Sumio and I became best friends. Carol would go to work and Otosan and I would go fishing and hiking. We went camping and I really liked being in the woods and sleeping in the pop up camper.
Pop Up Camper
Five years after Sumio had been diagnosed with cancer, he began to get weaker. He never gave up. Everyday I would stay by his side. When he used his computer on the kitchen table I would lay my head on his feet. When he got up, I got up. I followed him everywhere.
Chloe Watching out for Sumio
In January of 2014, I knew things were not getting better. Sumio was getting thinner and none of the drugs were working. He still continued to clean the house and cook dinner. Carol always had a worried look on her face and I only wished I could tell her about his day and how much difficulty he was having. I think she knew. On March 13, he did not look well. He just stared at Carol while she tried to talk to him. Carol contacted Lisa, their daughter,early in the morning and she was on her way to Phoenix, Arizona.
The Last Day
Lisa arrived at about 9:00 p.m. and Sumio was so happy to see her. He smiled and started talking to her. My ears perked up and I was beginning to feel happy. We all went to bed together and I slept as close as a could to Otosan and we hugged each other. At 2:00 a.m. everyone was crying. I was crying inside too. Sumio left and I felt a hole in my heart. He was taken away and I waited for him to come back. He never came back. I still wait for him to come back.
I know that he is still here in spirit. Every night when Carol and I go to bed she blows kisses to Sumio and tells him that she loves him and thanks him for taking care of her. She also says, “Don’t tell God what to do.” Sumio is in heaven and I hope to see him when I go to heaven.
I know that my responsibility is to take care of Carol and to make her happy. She has been very happy lately because she is “retired”. She spends more time with me and takes me to the park more often. This is going to be something that I have to get used to. I also know that Carol loves to travel and I will be spending more time at the kennel. I don’t mind because it gives me a chance to be social and hang out with other dogs. My life will change along with Carol’s life. Maybe she will let me have a skirt!